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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,882 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2001. On average, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident every 108 seconds. An additional 78,000 people were injured in that same year. A pedestrian is injured in a traffic crash every 7 minutes. In 2001, about 69% of the pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban areas. Seventy-nine (79%) of these accidents occurred at non-intersection locations.
"More than one-fifth of the children between 5 and 9 years old killed in traffic crashes in 2001 were pedestrians." . . . "Forty-five percent of all young pedestrian fatalities (under 16) occurred between 3 and 7 PM." In Louisiana alone, there were 98 pedestrian fatalities. The total traffic fatalities in this state were 954. See, NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2001.
Pedestrians are injured in a variety of situations. Children playing in urban areas may create a duty for motorists to exercise reasonable care. When crossing the street in places other than in the crosswalk or at an intersection, the pedestrian may have to yield the right of way to oncoming cars. Illegally parked cars that create a visual obstruction for pedestrians may be a contributing factor in a pedestrian/automobile accident. The driver of a vehicle may bear a greater portion of responsibility for an accident because the consequences of driver fault present a greater potential for causing greater havoc.
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